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by 10/26/2000 3:56 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Consumer-products name Colgate-Palmolive (CL – 55.59) is seeing some notable options activity today, claiming one of the most-active puts trading on the CBOE. Shortly before the close, 5,210 contracts had changed hands on the December 55 put. Prior to today, this back-month, at-the-money option had open interest of only 70 contracts. A number of mid-sized blocks (ranging in size from 10 to 100 contracts) and one large block consisting of 2,117 contracts crossed the tape between 2:00 and 3:00. These trades tended to go off between the bid and the ask prices.

This activity will undoubtedly propel CL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) significantly higher. This figure now stands at 0.26, a low reading on a relative basis. The most active CL-call today is the November 55 option, which has seen 73 contracts change hands. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment.

Since Monday's close, CL shares have surged 12.5 percent higher. The stock was propelled skyward on Tuesday after announcing third-quarter earnings that topped the Street's consensus estimate by a penny per share. This marked a 16-percent surge in earnings over 1999 figures for the same time period. <

by 10/26/2000 3:23 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Software publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS – 47-7/16) has come fighting back this afternoon after weathering a 6-3/16-point, or 13-percent, bear gap at the outset of today's session. In fact, the stock is now boasting a modest gain of over 2.5 percent.

Last night after the close, ERTS reported a third-quarter loss of 30 cents per share. This figure matched analysts' expectations but represented a significant fall-off from last year's third quarter, when the company earned 14 cents per share. The past quarter was challenging for the firm, as Sony PlayStation games sales tapered off as the consumer market anticipated the launch of Sony's PlayStation 2 console, which was released today. PlayStation-based games account for more than 40 percent of ERTS's sales. <

by 10/26/2000 2:38 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Biotechnology name Chiron (CHIR – 41-9/16) announced that its third-quarter profit from operations was 23 cents per share, which was six cents per share ahead of Street expectations. However, the company also revealed weaker-than-expected sales of its flagship drug, Proleukin, leading multiple brokers to downgrade the equity today.

At this morning's open, the shares gapped almost nine points lower, and they are currently down by over 17 percent. From its October 9 intraday low to yesterday's near-term intraday high, CHIR had advanced by nearly 42 percent. With today's plunge, though, the stock is trading back below both its 10-day and 20-day moving averages as well as its 10-month trendline.

In CHIR's options pit today, the out-of-the-money November 50 call has seen volume of 1,318 contracts. Open interest on the option stands at 1,109 contracts.


by 10/26/2000 2:36 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Radio-station owner Clear Channel Communications (CCU – 54-3/16) reported that it had third-quarter net income of 72 cents per share, exceeding analysts' forecasts of 69 cents per share. In response to this positive earning surprise, the stock's "strong buy" status has been reiterated today by two different brokerage houses.

In mid-afternoon trading, CCU is in the black by more than four percent, prompting a bullish crossover of its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. Such a technical development could have bullish implications for the shares. However, the security continues to hover beneath all of its significant intermediate-term and long-term moving averages.

On the option front today, 1,270 contracts have crossed the tape on the in-the-money November 50 call, which has open interest of 1,809 contracts.


by 10/26/2000 11:21 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As we mentioned in a Market Observation, Pharmacia (PHA – 56-7/8) remains contained within an intermediate-term trading range between 50 and 61. After hitting the bottom of the range on Friday, the shares have appreciated over 14 percent as they make their way back toward the top of the range.

In today's options activity, almost 3,300 contracts have changed hands on the PHA December 60 call. Because this option has open interest of just 689 contracts, most of this activity should result in new positions. This is one of the busiest calls on the CBOE.

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